Crossfit Nutrition & Workout Recovery Blog | Kill Cliff

  • Your Complete Guide to Pre- and Post-Workout Nutrition


    Working out is hard. If you want the best results, you have to push yourself to limits you didn’t know you had, and strive to do better and better each time.

    It takes a toll on your body.

    That’s why it’s important to pair an awesome workout plan with an amazing nutrition plan. What you eat is always important, but when you’re hitting it hard in the gym, your nutrition plan before and after your workout might be the most important part of what you eat each day.

    From supplements to real food, from what to eat to when to eat, here’s your complete guide to pre- and post-workout nutrition.

    Timing is Everything

    When you eat goes beyond “before and after my workout.” The key term here is nutrient timing - the specific windows around your workout when you’ll get the most out of what you eat.

    This is important for two reasons:

    1. Fueling your body. You need energy and focus during a workout, and your muscles need to be able to withstand the exertion you place upon them.
    2. Helping your body recover. If you can’t recover from an intense workout, don’t expect to be able to push it hard the next time you’re in the gym.

    Nutrient timing has been debated by fitness professionals ad nauseum, and for good reason. It’s an incredibly important aspect of pre- and post-workout nutrition.

    kc2As they say: “timing is everything.”

    Your body is primed to make the most of the food you put in it at certain times before and after a workout. One commonly-suggested window for timing your pre- and post-workout meals is “one hour before and after a workout.”

    While that’s a good recommendation, let’s get more specific. If you eat smaller meals along with supplements around your workouts, studies indicate an optimal window of 3-4 hours. What does that mean?

    Let’s say you exercise after work and have your pre-workout meal at 5:00 PM. In this case, you’ll want to have your post-workout meal no later than 9:00 PM - four hours after your pre-workout meal. The 3-4 hour window falls from your pre-workout meal to post-workout meal.

    So, of course, the “one hour before and after a workout” window still works, but this larger window gives you more leeway and freedom around how you go about your pre- and post-workout meals. If your workout is only thirty minutes long, you’ve got tons of time before and after your workout. On the other hand, if you’re going for an hour or more, you’ll have to be more aware of the clock.

    If you tend to eat fewer, larger meals, that 3-4 hour window can increase to a 5-6 hour window. Let’s say you work out after a big lunch at 12:00 PM. In this instance, you could wait to eat again until 6:00 PM and still get the full benefit of your post-workout meal.

    Here are some more examples of how this optimal window looks in action:

    • You workout at 5:00 AM, so you eat a light breakfast at 4:00 AM and then a small post-workout meal at 8:00 AM (fitting into the 3-4 hour window)
    • You’ve scheduled a noon workout on a Saturday, so you have a big lunch at 10:30 AM, work out at noon, and then have another full meal again at 3:30 PM (5 hours later, fitting into the larger window for big meals)
    • You’re a night owl, and work out at 10:00 PM. You don’t want to eat huge meals before bed, so you have a quick carb-based snack at 9:30 PM, workout, and then grab a protein bar at 11:30 PM. Your meals work inside the 3-4 hour window as well - it’s not as if you have to wait four hours to have your post-workout meal if you don’t want to.

    The beauty of the 3-4 or 5-6 window is that you can plan around the kind of meal you’re having, not just around these recommended intervals. If you like to eat big before and after a workout, you’ve got more freedom in the way you can time these meals and still get the maximum benefit. Or, if you don’t have time for a sit-down meal, smoothies and protein bars work great as smaller pre- and post-workout meals.

    Nutrient timing has been proven effective, allowing you to gain muscle and strength faster than just “winging it.” When you eat is important to ensure your body gets the most out of what you’re putting in it.

    Of course, timing isn’t everything (despite what the old saying claims), and that’s where the rest of this guide comes in. It’s time to talk about what to eat before and after your workout.

    Time to Get Energized!

    So what’s the pre-workout meal all about? It’s about energy. Eating before your workout should be entirely focused on fueling up and prepping your body to crush an awesome workout. This means you need a different meal and supplement plan pre-workout than you do post-workout.

    kc3The consensus seems to be that caffeine and amino acids are a necessity for improving energy and performance. Caffeine gets a bad rap, but it’s actually good for you in modest amounts. With many studies looking at the effects of caffeine on workout performance, the encouraging results of this research lends credence to the classic tip of having an espresso or two before a workout.

    Amino acids are another necessity, as they help prevent the breakdown of muscles during exercise. This lets you workout longer and, as a result, get more out of your workout.

    Studies on the pre-workout use of caffeine and amino acids show a 10% increase in participants’ aerobic capacity (the maximum amount of oxygen your body has access to during exercise).

    And that’s all pretty impressive, but what does it mean for you?

    An increase of 10% aerobic capacity helps you run farther and faster, and to lift heavier weights longer. That could mean burning an extra 200-300 calories per week from your cardio workouts alone. As an added bonus, on top of burning calories, this extra endurance can help you build muscle and get stronger faster.

    Rest and Recover

    So you’ve had your pre-workout meal, you’ve hit the gym, and worked as hard as you can - now it’s time for that sweet post-workout meal. The post-workout meal is all about recovery, helping you to reap the rewards from your past workout and to get your muscles ready for the next one.

    kc4In order to effectively recover from a workout, you need amino acids and healthy carbs. But you also need the “p” word: protein.

    If you have time for a sit-down meal, cook up some eggs or chicken breast, both of which are great sources of protein. Or, if you’re recovering on the go, try protein bars and shakes along with your Kill Cliff. Greek yogurt serves as a great protein-filled on-the-go snack that can be eaten on its own or mixed into smoothies and shakes to give your post-workout meal a personal touch.

    As far as specific recommendations go, studies indicate that around 0.2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight is the minimum needed to get the optimal muscle-building effect. Even if your goal isn’t building muscle, this minimum recommendation is still important when it comes to maintaining your muscle mass and helping your muscles recover from grueling workouts.

    Recovery is key to your ability to perform over the long haul. And protein is a big factor in your ability to recover successfully - whether your goals are building muscle or not.

    Final Thoughts

    Whew - that was a lot of data to throw at you. Now, let’s recap all of those tips, thoughts, and recommendations, as well as provide a few extra tips::

    • Consider the nutrient timing window (3-4 hours for smaller meals or 5-6 hours with big meals) as more of an upper limit. If you want to eat immediately before and after your workout, there’s nothing stopping you.
    • Find what works for you. If you prefer to take your workout nutrition on-the-go, make sure your shakes, bars, and other supplements are hitting the necessary protein amounts. If you have time for a sit-down meal, try to incorporate more whole foods alongside your supplements.
    • The 0.2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight should be taken as a daily minimum. If you’re looking for bigger gains - or if you missed out on protein in your earlier meals - bump that number up as needed.
    • Pre-workout, don’t eat “heavy” foods. Your stomach will thank you when you’re banging out heavy sets. Save these foods for your post-workout recovery meal. Trust me… you don’t want to find yourself in a bind at the bottom of a squat!
    • Finally, if you work out with a friend, get them on board with your pre- and post-workout nutrition plan. Having someone else on the same page when it comes to nutrition will make a big difference in your ability to stick to your plan.

    Pre- and post-workout nutrition can be that “x-factor” that, if you get them right, pushes you into gains and results you never expected. Still, it’s nothing without a solid workout plan, so don’t skimp on your workouts and expect your nutrition plan to pick up the slack.

    Ultimately, it’s a synergistic relationship that depends on your fitness and nutrition working in harmony. Use these tips and recommendations to push you ahead, enhancing your workouts to get awesome, exciting gains.

    Did you learn anything new from these recommendations? Do you have strategies of your own that weren’t mentioned here? Let us know in the comments below!


    Images: Flickr, Pixabay, Pixabay, Pixabay




    Advanced (trying to qualify for Regionals):

    T2B: 8/7 or 5/5/5. Rich Froning broke in the 3rd and Fraser’s T2B fell apart in the end after starting unbroken. So unless you are an Olympic gymnast or have abs of steel, I suggest breaking up from the start. The breaks should be no more than dropping and jumping back up.

    DL: Unbroken. Use a mixed grip. Split second pause on reps 6-10 at the top to breathe deeply. Drop the 10th rep to set up for Snatch.

    Snatch: Unbroken. If you are comfortable move your grip in slightly, this will give you a better grip on the bar and help to save some strength for the next round of T2B. Split second pause at the top of each rep to breathe deeply and relax grip.

    Chalk breaks should only be taken before the start of each round. You don’t have time for multiple chalk breaks every round. Wear sweat bands or Strength Wraps to help prevent sweat from getting on your palms. Approach each round as its own workout and use the walk from the barbell to the T2B to recover.

    Beginner and Scaled:

    T2B: 5/5/5 or less from the start. DO NOT TRY AND GO UNBROKEN OR BIG SETS EARLY.

    DL: 5/5 or fast singles using a mixed grip. Reps 6-10 pausing for a split second to breathe deeply.

    Snatch: Singles. Move grip in slightly to preserve grip strength. Deep breath between reps.

    There is not a lot that goes into a workout this short. It all comes down to how long you can hang on the bar and keep moving.


    All Athletes:

    This will be lower than you think. Get a number on the board and build. One error I think the athletes made tonight was unloading the 115 to build to their opener. Keep 115 on the bar and build on top of it. Have a friend or a good judge who will help you do the math since you going to have foggy brain after 15.1.

    Clean: Pick up the bar.

    Jerk: Move the bar overhead.

    Hope everyone has a safe Open and most importantly has fun.


  • Reaper Outdoors Premier

    Kill Cliff presents Reaper Outdoors: Survive the Hunt which premieres on The Sportsman Channel at 7:00 p.m. ET (6:00 p.m. CST) on December 30, 2014. This isn’t your typical hunting show.

    photo (1)

    “We aren’t sitting in tree stands for hours waiting for some animal to walk by,” explains show producer and hunter Dan “Reaper-02” Datish. “This is a show about actively tracking game using the tactics we have all learned in the military and also how to survive based on what we have around us.”

    For Datish, and the other members of Survive the Hunt (Ron “Reaper-01” Bellan and Jon “Reaper-03” Bellan), this program can take your hunting experience to the next level.

    “People have to train for what we do. We could be hunting anything: deer, elk, pig, whatever. We use high level military gear and weapons.”

    Datish and the others provide a blueprint for other hunters to learn to survive off the land, find food, track game and make shelters out of available materials.

    “With the popularity of things like CrossFit, we’ve seen more and more people who want to try to hunt their own food,” says Datish. “We like to do it our way. We used the things we learned, our military tactics, and actively hunt our game. If we come across some food, we can show the viewers how to find it and what is safe to eat. Sometimes we hunt for days so we need shelters and we show people who watch the show how to make that too. We’ll give you a no bullshit way to start a fire and stuff like that.”

    The military background and focus on living off the land is what Datish believes separates his show from being both a “traditional” hunting show, but it doesn’t exactly fit the survival show domain either.

    “Some of those shows can be extreme. Most regular hunters are never going to be in those types of places. For us, each hunt is different. We either walk in, jump in (from a plane or helicopter) or swim in. But once we’re there, we’re going to work as a team and survive on our own based on our training and teamwork,” says Datish.

    Find out more about taking your hunting game to the next level and catch Datish and the rest of his team on Reaper Outdoors: Survive the Hunt presented by Kill Cliff.

  • The 2015 Open: Critiquing the Critics

    The Open is changing and—surprise, surprise—there are critics already.

    There’s a saying we use at my affiliate that goes like this: “Sometimes what’s good for business isn’t what’s good for fitness.” It mostly has to do with the vocal minority who is always pushing for “more grinders, more grinders” at the expense of other important aspects of fitness, like strength and skill work.

    But in the case of the changes to the 2015 Open, I believe it’s the right call for both fitness and business. The critics will soon be quieted, the same way they were in 2011 when CrossFit eliminated Sectional competitions. People lost their shit. But just a short time later, they embraced the online Open competition.

    Since 2011, selection to the CrossFit Games has largely remained the same. Until now: Combined regions.

    The moment the post-CrossFit Invitational video was released, where Dave Castro gave some vague details about this year’s plan, people in my region got up in arms.

    “We’re losing our Canadian-ism” was the general jist of the sentiment. Others made the argument that we are a large geographical region–that this should somehow protect our autonomy in terms of being our own region.

    I understand and sympathize with the sentiment, and my first reaction, too, was “Nooooooooo.” But when I sat back and thought rationally about it, I came to conclusion that we don’t have a valid complaint. Canada West will be combined with the North West Region, and according to my (I like to think) careful calculations, we’re the two weakest regions in North America.

    In 2014, I was second at the Canada West Regional. Considering there are four weeks between the first and last weekend of regionals, it’s not 100 percent accurate to compare scores; however, comparisons still expose who the strong and weaker regions are. And when I plugged my scores into every other region in the world, I was humbled. My results would have ranked me 10th in Southern California. 12th in Canada East. 14th in the Norheast. And as low as 17th in Europe.

    Second in Canada West and 17th in Europe. Can you blame them for mixing things up this year?


    The North West Region was the only other region in North America where, I believe, on a perfect day of competing, I could have stood a remote chance at qualification. I would have been 7th with my scores from the Canada West regional competitions, which was just one week before the event in Kent, Washington.

    So with five berths on the line this year, I personally want to give Castro a giant hug for combining our region with the North West.

    Jeremy Jones, owner of CrossFit Diablo and Alessandra Pichelli’s personal coach, also believes that what we know so far about the changes this year makes sense—on all accounts. It is the right move as a sport, as Jones believes it will balance out some of the regions. And, it makes sense from a business standpoint “because there will be less stress on the Games crew to put on as many events, saving money and allowing more resources for even better events,” Jones said.

    Funny enough, financial savings is one of the reasons people are bitching on online forums. “They’re just doing this to save money. This is bullshit,” was one of the main themes on comment threads after the announcement.

    I personally don’t think money was the driving force behind this decision, but even if saving money was an added bonus to push for change, so what? We’re not talking about the government cutting social welfare programs here. CrossFit is business operating in the free market. Saving money is one of the things a successful businesses is supposed to do. To be critical of that is absurd.

    But more than financial savings, Jones reiterated his belief that the changes are also best for fitness—that they will get the best people to the Games.

    “There always seemed to be a few regions that had someone make the Games because the programming was “perfect” for (that one person)…,” he said. “Combining the regions should help in those cases.”

    The other cause for complaint and concern is the distinction between people who consider themselves “Open athletes” versus “Regionals athletes.” This argument has definitely crossed my mind on a personal level. I have always done better at Regionals than in the Open, especially when events like 7-minutes of burpees are programmed.

    That being said, as has often been said, the best athletes will still prevail. Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and Sam Briggs are Open athletes. They’re also Regionals athletes. And, of course, they’re Games athletes. Jones agrees and takes it one step further.

    “If programmed correctly, the Open has the ability to be programmed for the absolute beginner and the most advanced CrossFit athlete,” he said, adding that he doesn’t expect programming to be much different this year than in past years. That being said, he does expect a slightly higher level workout or two this year, especially considering the fact that there’s a scaled division.

    Despite this fact, Jones is making sure his athletes are even more ready than usual to get through the Open.

    “We are going to make sure that people who are Regional and Games-bound are a bit more prepares for the open. We want to make sure that those metabolic fires are stoked and red hot for the Open, as opposed to smouldering slowly to temper the other strengths and skills,” he said.

    “There are a few Games-level athletes that I work with who still may be able to make the Open a bit of a side note to their general program. But for many of our athletes, the Open is going to require a deviation from the way we might have programmed in the past—a large detour for some, a small one for others,” he added.

    The biggest change he expects we’ll see is even more athletes forgoing their individual aspirations to join a team. “The level of team competition may get a whole lot tougher,” he said.

    But finances and competition aside, perhaps the hidden brilliance of this new selection process—and something I haven’t read much discussion about—is what the system will do for affiliate pride.

    Since we’re still going to be competing against our smaller regions during the Open competition, we’ll maintain our smaller territorial regional identity. And I believe this regional pride will be strengthened under the new format.

    When the regional competitions arrive, friendly rivalries will likely develop between the two combined regions, with fans on both sides cheering for what they see as “their” athletes. I can picture a sea of proud red and white Canada West gear at this year’s regionals supporting our athletes against our American competitor’s—a beautiful sight for the sport.

  • Meet your new favorite dessert (any guesses?)

    What’s your favorite dessert? Does it have around 20 grams of protein and only 3 net carbs? It does now. Kill Cliff, the maker of the most awesome sports recovery drinks out there, is ready to showcase its next big venture: a premium line of protein bars. Available in three awesome flavors, the KC Bar combines great taste and loads of quality protein into one small package. Function meets flavor. Finally.

    Whether you reach for a fruity Strawberries & Cream (made with real fruit), a tantalizingly tasty Salted Caramel & Almond (which has actual almonds) or a delicious Chocolate Chip Cookie (using cocoa powder) you’ll get a great source of protein. Each bar is gluten free, sugar free and has no artificial colors or preservatives. Short version: The #kcbar is packed with awesomeness and impossibly tasty.

    Here’s what a few Kill Cliff athletes had to say about the new KC Bars:

    “Salted Caramel is the best one. Tastes amazing and doesn't taste like it's good for me... which I like." - Josh "ChaChi" Marunde, drummer for Pop Evil

    "My favorite KC Bar is surprisingly the Strawberry. And I normally don't like strawberry flavored things, but it has an enticingly sweet aftertaste with little strawberry chunks in it!" - Cole Sager, 2014 CrossFit Games athlete

    “The Chocolate Chip is the best. It has the best taste and best consistency. The chocolate chips in it lights my fire.” - Daniel Tymniski, two-time CrossFit Games athlete

    “I like the Salted Caramel one and the Strawberry. They don’t taste strong like some other bars and fake and sugary like some other bars. Very tasty for the amount of protein and decreased carbs.” - Talayna Fortunato, Physical Therapist and CrossFit Games athlete

    The KC Bar is officially available at and Vitamin Shoppe.

    By James Toland contributing editor

  • Day One Wrap-up Granite Games

    Friday afternoon at the 2014 Granite Games in St. Cloud, Minnesota got off to a great start with an impressive group of Kill Cliff athletes tackling the always popular “Snatch Ladder” event.

    On the Men’s Elite side, Kill Cliff athletes Elijah “EZ” Muhammad and Mat Fraser got things moving as they tore through the event one. After posting an online video last week snatching 315 lb., it was no surprise that Fraser, a former Olympic weightlifter hopeful, took first place in the opening event with a 305lb. lift in a time of 5:16. Although four men hit the same weight as Fraser, he was able to take home the win by completing it in a faster time. Just as impressive was Muhammad who completed the rep of 295 lb. but did so at a blistering pace of 4:06 good enough for fifth place.

    In the evening, both men took on the formidable “Deadly Ropes” event which consisted of five rounds of two rope climbs, four deadlifts at 365 lb. and eight burpees over the bar. Just as he did at Regionals this year, Muhammad flew through the rope climbs but Fraser’s consistent pace throughout allowed him hang on to second place overall at the end of day one as he finished fifth in this event. Slowed slightly by the deadlifts and burpees, Muhammad took a seventh place result on the “Ropes” but moved up to end day one fourth in the standings.

    The Kill Cliff ladies were also in action today with Brooke Ence Sawyers, Stacie Tovar and Grace Dresher throwing around some serious weight in their own “Snatch Ladder” competition. Sawyers flew through the ladder notching a 185 lb. lift while posting a scorching time of 4:05 to take the win in the first event of the Granite Games. Although Dresher and Tovar both were able to hoist 180 lb. (a PR for Tovar) neither could put up as much weight as Sawyers or do it as quickly. After event one, Dresher sat in fourth with a time of 2:31 while Tovar followed in seventh with a time of 6:39.

    After a presentation of the American flag and a singing of the National Anthem, the Women’s Elite athletes set off for event two. Just as the men did, the ladies hustled through the “Deadly Ropes” event which also consisted of five rounds of rope climbs, deadlifts at 240lb. and burpees over the bar. The final heat was loaded with some of the fittest women around in the realm of competitive fitness who turned a ten minute time cap into a five minute workout. Tovar got off to a great start but after some confusion from her judge with a rep count, fell off the lead pace a bit. Sawyers brought home another solid result finishing in sixth place with a time of 6:07. The result kept her in the overall lead for the first day while Tovar headed home sitting comfortably in fourth, closely trailed by Dresher in fifth.

  • Valerie Voboril - Mom, Teacher, Games' Athlete

    The growing trend among athletes who qualify for the CrossFit Games is towards a more professional lifestyle in which they dedicate a bulk of their time to training, diet and prep. Some in the community would argue that the age of the part time CrossFit athlete who can still make an impact on the podium at the Games is over.

    Valorie Voboril might have something to say about that.

    This 36 year old “supermom” has not only qualified for five of the last six CrossFit Games (she missed 2011 when she was pregnant with her daughter) but she has excelled finishing in third in 2013 and fifth in last summer’s Games.

    Now, as she enters her 12th year as a teacher at Richmond Street Elementary in El Segundo, CA, Kill Cliff recently sat down for a quick Q and A session with Voboril to find out how she juggles being a mom, elementary teacher, wife and kick ass CrossFItter.

    What do you love about teaching?
    It's such a joy to watch the enthusiasm of students learning and discovering. I love their curiosity and thirst for knowledge. I also love that I get to learn something new everyday I come to work.

    How did you get into CrossFit (being that you teach elementary school)?
    Being a teacher I would really use my summers to explore different activities looking for my newest fitness fad (mountain biking, aerial fabric, krav maga, sprint triathlons). The summer of 2008 I had the opportunity to try CrossFit. I quickly got hooked. I didn’t expect it to last so long.

    How do you balance teaching, being a mom and CrossFit especially when it comes to the Open, Regional and Games prep?
    I have a tight schedule. I have the support of my family, and I have my coaches which helps me to stay balance and be prepared for the Open, Regionals and Games. I teach from 7:30 am -3:30 pm. I train from 3:45 am - 5:00 pm. Spend time with my family from 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm. I do my work at home from 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm. Finally I get sleep after that.

    With all of the things you have going on, what is your happy place?
    Reading books in bed to my daughter. I love the quiet, peaceful time of sharing a good book, then talking about our favorite activities from the day and looking forward to the adventures that tomorrow brings.

    At the Games, what is your motivation?
    I am motivated by my daughter, my students and my family. I want to be the best me I can be and be a role model for those around me.

    What role does your family play in your career (CrossFit)?
    My family is my biggest support system. They encourage me, motivate me, challenge me and allow me to pursue this amazing sport.

  • 2014 Crush Games - Sunday (Championships)

    Kill Cliff athletes Mat Fraser, Cole Sager, Stacie Tovar and Grace Dresher, who collectively dominated the qualifier workouts on Saturday, picked right up where they left off for Sunday’s third and final day of the 2014 Crush Games in Miami, FL.

    Dresher and Tovar started the day in first and second place respectively and maintained a comfortable lead in the Female Pro Division as they got back to work. In the first event, titled “Old McDonald,” Dresher and Tovar did exactly what they needed to and Tovar notched a second place finish while Dresher followed close behind her in third. After the first of three workouts on championship Sunday, Dresher maintained a narrow one point lead over Tovar as the pair began to pull away from the rest of the competitors. Event number two called “2012 Throwback” was a combination of both legless and regular rope climbs mixed with heavy front squats. Tovar showed everyone why she is the athlete to beat as she grinded through this workout finishing third in the heat and pushing her way past Dresher into the first place spot going into the third and final event of the weekend. Dresher struggled in some of the later rounds with the legless portion of the rope climbs and finished eighth place, dropping her to second overall.

    Tovar, proved again that strength is “booty” while sporting her trademark white shorts. She left no doubt during the final event of the day as she laid waste to both the competition and her reps winning the final Sunday workout titled, “Timothy Davis.” This up-and-back event, for both the men and women, started and finished with muscle-ups, followed by two rounds of “DT” (12,9,6 deadlifts, hang cleans and shoulder-to-overhead) and finishing up with 120 double unders. Tovar was the only Female Pro athlete to finish the workout in the 10 minute time cap and cruised to the overall Champion of the 2014 Crush Games. Dresher ended her weekend with a strong finish as well coming in second in both the last event and the overall standings.

    Mat Fraser entered the morning sitting comfortably in first place and never looked back. In a very “Rich Froning-esque” performance, Fraser kept his sights on the scores and results of the second place Sager and went into each workout with a simple plan: beat Cole by at least one spot. The strategy paid off right away as Fraser finished the opening event in second while Sager came in fourth. While neither competitor dominated the second event seeming to almost pace their efforts against one another on both the legless and regular rope climbs and 225 lb. front squats. The scores they posted kept both men comfortably within the top two spots and both easily made the final cut of 12 remaining athletes who would compete the third and final event on Sunday.

    Having locked up both first and second place going into the last workout (the eighth of the weekend), both men didn’t slow down as Sager pushed past the final set of muscle-ups and jogged to a first place finish followed closely behind by Fraser. The weekend ended with Mat Fraser taking the 2014 Crush Games Male Pro Division Championship with 27 total points and Cole Sager right behind in second with 32 points.

  • 2014 Crush Games (Saturday)

    The 2014 Crush Games in Miami, FL are one of the biggest offseason competitions for top competitive fitness athletes. Crush Games has a unique two part format which allows athletes to compete and post scores on either Friday or Saturday. Based on standings at the end of Saturday, the top 24 Male Pro qualifiers and the top 12 Female Pro qualifiers advance to battle it out during Sunday’s final two championship events.

    This past weekend four Kill Cliff athletes headed south to throw down with some of the other fittest professionals on the planet. Games’ rookie Cole Sager along with the 2nd fittest on the planet, Mat Fraser from Champlain Valley CrossFit tackled five events in the Male Pro division. On the women’s Pro side, Games’ veteran, Stacie Tovar, from CrossFit Omaha and Grace Dresher from Oklahoma showed up to try and crush the competition.

    These four did not disappoint as they immediately grabbed the top spots in the standings giving the crowd what they came to see. Tovar and Dresher made Saturday all about the midwest as they traded first and second place finishes back and forth throughout the first four events. In case there were any doubts, these two ladies dominated the final event “Chip Away” which was a combination of reps of double unders, one arm dumbbell snatches, box over jumps, alternating weighted pistol squats, pull-ups and muscle-ups. Tovar easily took first place while Dresher finished in second leaving the rest of their heat in the dust and securing their spots in Sunday’s two championship events.The duo finished the day with Dresher in first and Tovar close behind in second after the first five qualifying workouts.

    For the men, Mat Fraser and Cole Sager, also arrive in South Beach ready to win and threw down their markers as the athletes to beat in the Pro division. Sager and Fraser were neck and neck going into the fifth and final workout. With the clock ticking towards the last seconds of the ten minute time cap, the pair pulled ahead in their final heat as Sager was able to catch Fraser with both men repping out 51 double unders in the “Chip Away” event. Entering the finals for Sunday’s Crush Games, Mat Fraser leads all Pro male competitors with 16 points and following closely behind is Cole Sager with 19 points.

  • 10 Telltale Signs You’re Addicted to CrossFit

    Initially, CrossFit can be both intimidating and humbling.  But quickly, many participants find themselves avidly involved in the “the cult.”

    Not only does their level of physical fitness dramatically change, but they also see a shift many other parts of life. Conversations lean toward muscle mass, your “regular” friends start to worry about you, you start going to bed at the same time as most infants, and you replace your nightly glass of wine with a sports recovery drink.

    So how do you know when you are addicted to CrossFit?

    Here’s how…

    1. You drink all beverages from a shaker.
      It doesn’t matter if it’s water, a protein shake, or a sports recovery drink; you’re always walking around with a shaker.  Or a gallon of water.  Either way, this accessory makes it evident that your workouts rule your world.
    2. You feel compelled to do pull-ups or handstands on miscellaneous objects.
      Sometimes this compulsion rears its ugly head in public places.  Whether it’s following alcoholic consumption, a display of CrossFit abroad, or a simple sample of skills, you just can’t control your urge to perform feats of strength anywhere, and everywhere.

    1. You get in arguments with your old globo gym gang.
      Banter between you and your bicep curling buddies may, at time, become heated.  They claim they can’t keep bulk with CrossFit, and you counter with their lack of any leg strength or endurance.  I think you win, but it’s not my call.
    2. Your workout clothes consist primarily of Reebok, Lululemon, and Rogue products.  Clothing that caters well to CrossFit addicts is somewhat limited.  The range of motion required of garments, the excessive sweat, and the rough stuff like rope climbing requires something a little beefy.  Hence, your budget is spent on spectacular shoes and speed shorts.
    3. You explain your day with acronyms like WOD, OHS, HSPU, and DU.
      It’s like information technology (IT) professionals…they have their own language of letters and associated meanings.  When you understand, translate, and speak and/or write in skill acronyms, you’re in … deep.
    4. Rest days give you anxiety.
      You know they are necessary, but you can’t help but ache for the next rough workout.  Maybe it’s that rush upon completion, or the feeling that you’ve missed something important.  More realistically, your head isn’t right and you’ve become a hardcore addict.
    5. Your Facebook posts revolve around your personal records and Paleo meal pictures.
      This annoys non-CrossFitters.  But you don’t care.  Cause it’s what you do.  It’s what you live and breathe and literally sweat and eat.  Forget pics of babies and baking, you go for meat and WOD mayhem.

    Eat Paleo and Do Crossfit

    1. A whiteboard dictates your mood.
      When you’re at the top, you’re on top of the world.  Being on the bottom however, gives you an immediate tinge of frustration paired with motivation.  It keeps you on the path of progress, but it can sometimes take hold of your very core.
    2. You have a pet named Fran, Annie, or Rich.
      Really, a pet named after any of the benchmark girls or the big CrossFit names is a tell-tale sign that you’re addicted to CrossFit.
      image of chocolate lab enjoying a Kill Cliff
    1. Your free time has been replaced by CrossFit-related activities.
      Handstands in your house, watching ESPN reruns of last year’s games (even though you’ve seen it 16 times), reading books like Becoming a Supple Leopard, listening to Barbell Shrugged podcasts, and watching YouTube videos on lifts and skills are all symptoms that the free time you once cherished, no longer exists.

    It’s easy to stumble into CrossFit chasing a 6-pack, and suddenly find yourself caught up in a world of community, health, and fitness.  I think it’s ok to be consumed.  Just remember that to maintain the passion you possess, it’s best to step away from time to time.  CrossFit will always eagerly await your next WOD, but a day off is quite alright.

    Abi Reiland

    Owner/Trainer, CrossFit 8035


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